Tharoor introduces bill in LS seeking establishment of system to protect refugees & asylum-seekers

The proposed bill seeks to incorporate the current policy on refugees, the principles of the Constitution, and India's international obligations.

Published: 04th February 2022 10:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2022 10:19 PM   |  A+A-

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor (Photo | PTI)

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha seeking the establishment of an effective system to protect refugees and asylum-seekers by means of a legal framework.

The former minister of state for external affairs said the Asylum Bill, 2021 will establish a legal framework to determine claims for asylum and to provide for rights and obligations flowing from such status and matters connected therewith.

The proposed bill seeks to incorporate the current policy on refugees, the principles of the Constitution, and India's international obligations.

"The provisions of the bill provide clarity and uniformity on the recognition of asylum seekers as refugees and their rights in the country. It also seeks to end a system of ambiguity and arbitrariness which, too often, results in injustice to a highly vulnerable populace," reads the proposed draft legislation.

The bill seeks to enable the government to manage refugees with more accountability and order while balancing humanitarian concerns and security interests of the State, it added.

Explaining the rationale behind the bill, Tharoor in the document said, "The Rohingya crisis put into stark relief the issues that can arise when dealing with a mass influx. This is a moment for all countries, including India, to re-examine their current response and preparedness to deal with refugees and situations of mass movements."

India hosts more than two lakh refugees and is at the center of refugee movements in the South Asian region. It has been a home to refugees from neighbouring countries such as Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Nepal, the bill states.



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